The Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act Of 1974 (FERPA)

Annual Notice to Students

Annually, Marywood University informs students of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

They are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student's educational records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Registrar, Dean, Head of the Academic Department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the record(s) may be inspected. If the record(s) are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record(s) that they want to have changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record(s) as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision, and the Vice President of the area concerned will advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education record(s), except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Exceptions include disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interest, to officials of other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll, to persons or organizations providing the student financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health services staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest only if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University. Except where prescribed by law, information regarding a student's education records may not be disclosed to a parent, guardian, or spouse without the student's written authorization. Upon request, the school may also disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  • As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which a student's education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including Social Security Number, grades, or other private information - may be accessed without the student's consent.
    • First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to records and PII without student consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as, any program that is administered by an education agency or institution.
    • Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to student education records and PII without consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive a student's PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without the student's consent PII from education records, and they may track the student's participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about the individual that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including work force development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Marywood University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

The full policy, including a directory of education records maintained on students in this institution is available below.

Definition of Directory Information

Marywood University hereby designates the following categories of student information as public or "Directory Information." Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion.

  • Category I Name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, dates of attendance, enrollment status, and class.
  • Category II Previous institution(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors, degree(s) conferred (including dates).

Currently-enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any category of information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the Office of the Registrar. Forms requesting witholding of "Directory Information" are available in the Office of Academic Records and online. Marywood University assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of categories of "Directory Information" indicates individual approval for disclosure.

Marywood students may be assured that even with their permission, directory information is disclosed only on rare occasions. The policy of Marywood University allows the disclosure of such information to non-institutional personnel only for serious reason and at the discretion of the person responsible for the student record involved.

Signature of University Registrar
Rosemary Burger
University Registrar
September 2021

Marywood University Policy Statement

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law which states that a written institutional policy must be established, and that a statement of adopted procedures covering the privacy rights of students be made available. The law provides that the institution will maintain the confidentiality of student education records.

Marywood University accords all the rights under the law to eligible students. No one outside the institution shall have access to nor will the University disclose any information from a student's education records without the written consent of the student except as permitted under the Act.  Examples of sanctioned release without prior consent are:  to personnel within the institution, to officials of other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll, to persons or organizations providing the student financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. 

Within the Marywood University community, only those members, individually or collectively, acting in the student's educational interest are allowed access to student education records. These members include personnel in the administrative offices that maintain student records, and academic/student affairs personnel within the limitations of their need to know. Should a question occur about accessibility, the vice president of the area concerned should be consulted.

At its discretion, the institution may provide Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the Act to include: student name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, dates of attendance, class, enrollment status, previous institution(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors, degree(s) conferred (including dates). Students may withhold Directory Information by notifying the Registrar on the appropriate form.  Request for non-disclosure will be honored by the institution until the student acts to rescind the non-disclosure request.

The law provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge the contents of their education records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the decision of the hearing panel is unacceptable. The Registrar at Marywood University has been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student education records, which include admissions, personal, academic, and financial files, and academic, cooperative education, and placement records.

A student wishing to review his/her education records must make a written request to the officer responsible for the maintenance of the record concerned listing the item or items of interest. Records covered by the Act will be made available within forty-five days of the request. Copies of records are normally provided only in cases where a failure to do so would prevent the student from reviewing the record.  Marywood University reserves the right to refuse a student a copy of his or her transcript if the student has a financial indebtedness to the University or if the original or source document exists elsewhere. Copies provided to the student are made at the student's expense at prevailing rates.

Education records do not include records of instructional, administrative, and educational personnel that are the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual, except a substitute who performs on a temporary basis the duties of the individual, records of the law enforcement unit, student health records, employment records, or alumni records. Health records, however, may be reviewed by physicians of the student's choosing.

Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the Act: financial information submitted by their parents; confidential letters and recommendations associated with admissions, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student. The institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975, provided those letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purposes for which they were collected.

A student who believes that an education record contains information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of his or her privacy or other rights may discuss the problem informally with the officer responsible for the maintenance of that record. If the decision is in agreement with the student's request, the appropriate record(s) will be amended. If not, the student will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the record(s) will not be amended; and will be informed by the vice president of the area concerned of his or her right to a formal hearing. A student's request for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the appropriate vice president/provost who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such request, will inform the student of the date, place, and the time of the hearing. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the student's expense. The hearing panel that will adjudicate such challenges will be the vice president/provost of the area concerned and four individuals appointed by the President of the University. These persons will be selected according to the nature of the particular case.

Decision of the hearing panel will be final, will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and will consist of written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decision, and will be delivered to all parties concerned. The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decision of the hearing panel if the decision is in favor of the student. If the decision is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with his/her education record statements commenting on the information in records, or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the hearing panel. The statements will be placed in the education record, maintained as part of the student's record, and released whenever the record in question is disclosed.

Students who believe that the adjudications of their challenges were unfair, or not in keeping with the provisions of the Act may request in writing, assistance from the President of the University. Further, students who believe that their rights have been abridged may file complaints with The Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-8520, concerning the alleged failures of Marywood University to comply with the Act.

Revisions and clarifications will be published as experience with the law and Marywood University's policy warrants.

The Registrar's Office maintains a list of offices that maintain ownership of student records.

That list is as follows:

Academic Record University Registrar Liberal Arts Center
Student Account Manager of Cashier's Office Liberal Arts Center
Financial Aid Director of Financial Aid Liberal Arts Center
Student Life Vice President for Enrollment Services and Student Success Liberal Arts Center
Placement Career Engagement Specialist Learning Commons
Field Placement Supervision (School of Social Work) Director, School of Social Work Immaculata Hall
Student Teaching Supervision Director, Professional Education Field Experience McGowan Center for Graduate and Professional Education
Health Services Director of Student Health Services Loughran Hall
E-mail Addresses Director of Information Technology Immaculata Hall